Following on from my blog a few weeks ago where I shared my learnings from Covid 19, I am purposefully looking forward at how I will take those learnings and what I will do going forward.
I see this as a new period to reflect and re-group. I am acutely aware of the coaches talking about pivoting and finding new revenue streams and different ways of doing business that will hasten us back to business and get our lives back to normal. Whilst there is a real benefit to these messages, I can’t help but feel that this is an opportunity for us to create a ‘new normal’ that makes space intentionally for all of the stuff we want to keep in our lives, rather than jumping in new directions in a race to stay busy.
Before we race to ‘re-open’ (however different that will look for each of us), I invite you to try this re-grouping exercise. Grab a pen and paper, create some space and time, and ask yourself these questions:
What have I noticed about myself since all of this began?
What have been my biggest challenges and how have I overcome them?
What do I know about myself now?
What do I love about myself now?
What do I do differently now?
What do I want to celebrate?
What do I definitely not want to go back to ?
What do I want to hold on to? What makes me feel good?
I am grateful for/because………………………………………………….
Take your time to answer these questions - this a reflective journaling practice.
Meditation is also a powerful practice which will aid you as you reflect, giving you a few minutes to clear your head and focus on your breath. There are many meditation apps available to guide you. One of my current favourites, FreeMind, combines traditional mindfulness tools with music and positive affirmations -- one to add to your armour!
So, as you gather your thoughts and regroup, what are the things that you commit to taking forward for yourself?
The things I have noticed for myself:
- I’d like to maintain this slower pace of life – life was always so busy and whilst I am still busy it’s in a different way. My weekends are not spent rushing about and, I feel much better for it. I have been forced to spend time doing nothing, just being, and it feels good. Slower does not equal empty, in fact it equals full.
- I will make more time for people that matter – social distancing has meant in many ways connecting with people who were too busy to connect with before. All of a sudden we’ve got this time and regular phone calls and video calls are possible. I’ve had long conversations with old friends and distant relatives. Although physical proximity is beautiful, we can get/be creative with our connection.
- Keep exercise in my life – simple but true. My new habit of starting the day with 30 minutes to myself, 30 minutes of exercise – walking, running, HITT, circuits – has enriched my mind and my mood. It’s made my thoughts more lucid, my body stronger and my relationships happier.
- Express myself more fully – “If not now, when? If not you, who?” – this keeps ringing in my mind. What this pandemic has shown is that you really never know what’s round the corner; so the right time is now to say what you want to say and make happen what you want to see in the world.
- Appreciate more, and daily – expressing gratitude has been powerful. It reminds me of all the things that are going well, of all the things that I am learning. Each day I do a gratitude practice and remember and try to write down 3 things I am grateful for that day. A simple yet powerful action which really does end each day brighter. This has been a comfort for me during this time and, it’s something I will continue as it is really uplifting. It is life affirming to remember each day just how much we are capable of.
We will all take different things from this exercise; for me, you can see it is to live life more and live more fully.
The key thing to remember is that we still have time to regroup. Lockdown is lifting slowly but surely around the world and whilst uncertainty will continue until a real treatment or vaccine has been found, we can take some control. Before any knee jerk reactions, please give yourself the gift of a regroup. Whether your work has taken off or slowed right down, this is a unique time when commuting, carpooling, meetings, networking, and frantic scheduling have been replaced with space. Use it to your advantage.
It’s true that this whole situation has served lessons to the world. And, the job of lessons is to teach and inform to help us be better and do better. Be better and do better for yourself and your community and those whom you serve with your work.
Take time to regroup and define how you want your life and work to be, and anchor into that as you move towards what you will do.
For the month of June the theme for the Weekly Boost is ‘Regroup’ - through the month I will share articles and practices to help us pause and take a breath after the experience of the first half of 2020. Sign up to the Weekly Boost to receive your tools to help you pause, take breath and Regroup.